Luvaria Ulisses

Lisbon, Portugal | C.1925

Photo Credit: Leah Johns

Creating custom gloves is no small feat, just ask the smallest – and last remaining – glove shop in all of Portugal. The iconic Luvaria Ulisses has been offering bespoke service from a sizable 4 square-meter storefront in Lisbon’s renowned Chiado neighborhood for nearly a century – all thanks to a determined entrepreneur and the city’s historic Carmo Wall.

In the early 1900s, Joaquim Rodrigues Simões was granted license to commercially develop a section of the city’s historic Muralha do Carmo. After all the shops had been mapped out, a very small space remained which Simões occupied as his personal office. But at a time when it was “unthinkable for a woman to walk around without gloves”, he thought of a much more profitable – and “in vogue” – way to utilize the space: a glove shop.

Taking the name from Greek mythology, Simões opened the doors to Luvaria Ulisses in 1925, and the shop has been serving everyone from sightseers to celebrities ever since. Customers could choose from seven different base sizes and once the perfect fit was found, the custom pair was crafted in a nearby workshop. Now, over a century later, the creation process remains exactly the same – just with a new owner.

Today, Carlos Carvalho – a 50 year veteran of the shop – resides at the helm. He began mastering the craft in his youth before joining the team as an assistant and ultimately took over the business. Carlos leads a team of 8 cutters and tailors – including his son Diogo – who craft, cut, heat, hammer and sew more than 14,000 gloves every year. So keep in mind, there are more than enough gloves to go around, and if you happen to see a line, it’s simply thanks to their ever spacious showroom which still holds just one customer at a time.

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